Dec 23, 2020 Rob Peterscheck

The difference between monitoring and managing digital experiences

Digital experience monitoring (DEM) technologies are used to monitor the experience of an end user as they interact with applications or supporting infrastructure. They mainly focus on monitoring availability, performance and the quality of the experience from the end user’s perspective. But since when is monitoring enough?
The difference between monitoring and managing digital experiences

At a high level, the DEM space is occupied by several vendors that each take a different approach, but most tools provide the same structure, allowing for:

  • Real User Monitoring (RUM)
  • Endpoint Monitoring (EP)
  • Synthetic Transaction Monitoring (STM)

The origins of the technology vendor will significantly determine the strengths and weaknesses of their DEM offering. To look a bit deeper into product comparisons, take a look at Gartner’s Market Guide for Digital Experience Monitoring or Forrester’s New WaveTM on End-User Experience Management.

Many of the vendors in this space can be considered traditional monitoring tools that have come from an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) pedigree. This includes tools like Aternity, Dynatrace and Systrack, whose primary goal is to surface up insights about an estate. Whether that is end-to-end transaction information (like Dynatrace) or monitoring endpoints and network devices (like Aternity), the primary goal of these tools is to surface insights. The expectation is that I&O staff can use these insights to ensure that applications and client devices are working as expected.

But what do we do with those insights?

The traditional vendors in this space stop at giving the insights. The assumption is that once a tool, like Aternity, has informed you of a memory leak or a bad driver/application version, you will go do something about it using a different tool. Some DEM tools, like Systrack or Nexthink, have added bolt-on capabilities for remediation to allow some basic remote execution of PowerShell scripts to try and close this gap, but it’s considered immature in that they don’t look at execution/remediation as a critical capability of their tooling.

1E puts a great deal of emphasis on managing devices. Our goal and our pedigree were always in fixing issues—and will always remain so. Not only is 1E Tachyon the best tool available for fixing issues out-of-the-box and at scale, it is the best tool available for logging all actions taken for those endpoints for later auditing purposes (or correlation analysis). Our goal with Tachyon from the start was to make remediating and managing endpoints as simple as possible. Visibility, in the form of Tachyon Experience, came into the picture later once we realized the deep insights we have on the client estate.

While DEM tools have very advanced capabilities to tell you if a certain CI has drifted from its desired state, or perhaps to surface up insights, they are not built from the ground up to manage devices. The goal of our Guaranteed State module was to do just that. It ensures that the state of a machine is consistent, so if changes are attempted, they are immediately set back to the previous configuration.

The solution stack that 1E has built around Tachyon focuses first on managing devices and ensuring that devices are performing well and can be fixed if they are not. That is the key difference between Monitoring and Management.